All About Estates

Dr. Richard Shulman

Total 29 Posts Website
Dr. Shulman is a Geriatric Psychiatrist, and is the Service Medical Director for Seniors Mental Health Services at Trillium Health Partners (Mississauga Hospital, Credit Valley Hospital and Queensway Health Centre). He is available for independent medical-legal capacity assessments. He is an assistant professor at the University of Toronto. Email: Richard.Shulman@thp.ca

Lucid Intervals and Testamentary Capacity

As I understand, “lucid interval” is a legal doctrine that holds that testamentary capacity may exist at a moment in time even though the testator’s general state would be inconsistent with the conclusion that he possessed testamentary capacity.[i] The idea is that an individual who suffers from mental illness or…

Continue Reading

Year End Wishes for Changes to Care for Patients with Dementia

Health Quality Ontario, in collaboration with clinical experts, patients, residents, and caregivers across the province, is developing quality standards for care providers in Ontario. I participated in developing the quality standard: Behavioural Symptoms of Dementia: Care for Patients in Hospitals and Residents in Long-Term Care Homes. This quality standard focuses…

Continue Reading

Some Concerns about Proposing MAiD via Advanced Directives

Audrey Parker, a terminally ill woman living in Nova Scotia, ended her life with medical assistance earlier this month after issuing a final deathbed plea asking lawmakers to loosen some of the restrictions embedded in Canada’s assisted dying law.[i] Parker stressed that the law had to be changed because anyone…

Continue Reading

Statutory Guardianship of Property vs. a Continuing Power of Attorney for Property: They are not the same!

My June 2017 blog described that most seniors appoint a continuing power of attorney for property (CPOAP), partly to avoid having the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (OPG&T) assume the role of statutory guardian of property under the Substitute Decisions Act (SDA) or the Mental Health Act (MHA)…

Continue Reading

Is it Improper for Counsel to Assist an Expert Witness in the Preparation of the Expert’s Report?

Expert evidence constitutes an exception to the rule that witnesses may only testify as to facts, not opinions, and that it is the exclusive prerogative of the trier of fact to draw inferences from proven facts. The expert evidence exception operates where specialized knowledge is required to determine the implications…

Continue Reading

Undue Influence by “Unwitting Proxy”

Undue influence results in benefits to a beneficiary/donee which would not have occurred except for the undue influence imposed by the beneficiary/donee upon the testator/donor. Undue influence can be conceptualized into two distinct types: (1) “actual” undue influence and (2) “presumed” undue influence. Actual undue influence is concerned with coercive…

Continue Reading

When More Help is Needed: Moving Seniors with Dementia to Care Facilities

Section 4(1) of the Health Care Consent Act (HCCA) sets out a two-part test for determining whether a person has the capacity to consent to medical treatment, to be admitted to a care facility, or to receive a personal assistive service/device: Is the person able to understand information relevant to…

Continue Reading

Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) and Undue Influence

In 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada held that the ban on Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) was unconstitutional (for a summary of the decision, click here). However, MAiD is not available to all persons; to qualify, a person requesting MAiD must have a grievous and irremediable medical condition including…

Continue Reading

LTCHA Fails to Meet its Mandate for Seniors with Dementia and Responsive Behaviours

All long-term care homes in Ontario are governed by one piece of legislation: the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 (LTCHA) designed to help ensure that residents of long-term care homes receive safe, consistent, high-quality resident-centred care. The Ontario Regulation 79/10 (Regulation) is made under the LTCHA and provides additional requirements….

Continue Reading

Assisting Detection of Hospital Acquired Delirium by Informal Caregivers – The Sour Seven

In the March 2018 edition of Reader’s Digest, I came across an article called “State of Confusion”[i] about hospital acquired delirium and the negative consequences that can arise from it. (The author’s original article can be found online.)[ii] The editor’s letter “Decoding Delirium”[iii] in the same issue recounts her mother’s…

Continue Reading